You probably know Miguel Chen as a longtime member of Teenage Bottlerocket. In addition to playing bass in the renowned Wyoming punk band for close to 15 years, however, Chen is also a yoga instructor, a meditation expert, and an author who has written three books (with a fourth on the way). Long before he fashioned a unique career out of the diverse fields of punk rock, writing, and self-improvement, Chen was a kid learning the ins and outs of classical guitar in the small town of Laramie.
With the typically-busy Teenage Bottlerocket currently stuck home on account of the ongoing pandemic, Chen managed to find some time to speak with My First Band host Tyler Maas about his band’s canceled spring tour, his new children’s book, how he’s holding up in his current home of Dallas, and advice he has to help people stay sane and centered during a decidedly insane point in human history. Over the course of the conversation, Chen also talked about formative punk shows in Wyoming house venues, stints in bands like Kilted Monarchs and Inspector Hector, getting a little too into drugs in his early twenties, circumstances that took him from being Teenage Bottlerocket’s merch guy to the band’s bassist, and unforgettable experiences he’s had since joining up with the group in 2006.
My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Teenage Bottlerocket (“I Wanna Be A Dog”).